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Border closure: Nigerian govt speaks on date of reopening

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Nigeria’s government has said there is no fixed date for the reopening of the country’s land borders, which were closed in August this year.

President Muhammadu Buhari had explained that the borders were closed, to prevent smuggling of banned items.Speaking with journalists on Monday, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, stated that a date for the borders to be reopened would be fixed after a joint patrol team set up by Nigeria and its neighbours submit its recommendations.

The Minister said the recommendations would determine if Benin Republic and Niger Republic have complied with trade protocols of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Katagum disclosed that the joint team is made up of Customs, Air Force and other security agencies of the countries.

“We had the strategic meeting with the three countries and what we agreed with our neighbors is to activate a joint border patrol and that border patrol comprising the customs, all the security agencies and ensure to try to follow the actual protocol laid by ECOWAS.

“The committee met on November 25 and it is only when that committee is certain that all the countries are respecting the ECOWAS protocol that they will recommend a day for the opening of the border,” Katagum said.

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